bdnf - brain derived neurotrophic factor
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Publication
Journal: Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences
November/15/2019
Abstract

Objective
This study aimed to determine the allelic and genotypic association of the Val66Met (rs6265) polymorphism in the BDNF gene with stress levels in preclinical medical students of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA), Terengganu, Malaysia.

Methods
In this cross-sectional study, we recruited all 122 preclinical medical students. The validated depression anxiety stress scales-21 (DASS-21) questionnaire was distributed and blood samples were collected from each subject for DNA extraction. Genotyping analysis of the BDNF gene (Val66Met) polymorphism was performed via an optimised polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method.

Results
A total of 105 subjects agreed to participate in this study. Indian students were found to more likely have the Val/Val genotype, whereas Malay students were more likely to have the Met/Met genotype (p = 0.027). Individuals carrying any one of the three BDNF genotypes (Val/Val, Val/Met and Met/Met) differed significantly from each other in terms of their perception of stress (p = 0.010); students carrying the Val/Val genotype (M = 10.6) perceived significantly lower stress than students carrying the Val/Met (M = 14) and Met/Met (M = 15.1) genotypes.

In our study, the Met-allele was associated with higher stress levels. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study investigating this stress-related gene in medical students. The findings from this study should trigger more investigators to focus on the impact of stress on genetically predisposed medical students.
Publication
Journal: OncoTargets and therapy
November/7/2019
Abstract
Regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins are GTPase-activating proteins that target the α-subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins. Many studies have shown that RGS proteins contribute to tumorigenesis and metastasis. However, the mechanism in which RGS proteins, especially RGS4, affect the development of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains unclear. The aim of this study was to characterize the role of RGS4 in NSCLC.

Methods
RGS4 expression in NSCLC tissues was assessed using an immunohistochemistry tissue microarray. Additionally, RGS4 was knocked down using short-hairpin RNA to assess the regulatory function of RGS4 in the biological behaviors of human NSCLC cell lines. A xenograft lung cancer model in nude BALB/c mice was established to study whether RGS4 knockdown inhibits cancer cell proliferation in vivo.

Results
We observed an increase in RGS4 protein levels in NSCLC samples. RGS4 knockdown inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in H1299 and PC9 cell lines, but did not affect cell migration. Moreover, we found that RGS4 negatively regulated the expression of microRNA-16 (miR-16), a tumor suppressor. The inhibition of miR-16 resulted in upregulated RGS4 expression. We also found that RGS4 regulated the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and activated the BDNF-tropomyosin receptor kinase B signaling pathway.

Conclusion
This study revealed that RGS4 overexpression positively correlated with the development of NSCLC. TDownstream RGS4 targets (eg, miR-16 and BDNF) might be involved in the development of NSCLC and may serve as potential therapeutic targets for its treatment.

Publication
Journal: Current neurovascular research
October/7/2019
Abstract
Studies have shown the relationship neuroinflammation and depressive-like parameters. However, research has not still been carried out to evaluate the neuroinflammation in the neonatal period and psychiatric disorders in adulthood.To verify the association between neonatal immune activation and depressive-like parameters in the adulthood using an animal as model.Two days old C57BL/6 animals were exposed to LPS or PBS. When the animals completed 46 days old, they received PBS or Imipramine for 14 days. At the age of 60 days, it was evaluated the consumption of sucrose; immobility time; adrenal gland and the hippocampus weight; levels of plasma corticosterone and hippocampal BDNF.It was observed that the animals exposed to LPS in the neonatal period and evaluated in adulthood had a decrease in the consumption of sucrose; an increase of immobility time; reduction of hippocampus weight; an increase of adrenal gland weight; and an increase in plasma levels of corticosteroids. The use of imipramine only did not modify the decreased hippocampal weight. On the other hand, there were no alterations in the BDNF levels in hippocampus with or without the use of imipramine.These results suggest that neonatal immune activation may be associated with depressive-like parameters in adulthood. It is believed that endotoxemia may trigger physiological and behavioral alterations, increasing vulnerability to the development of depression in adulthood.
Publication
Journal: Neurochemical research
September/27/2019
Abstract
Increased number of newly-born neurons produced at latent stage after status epilepticus (SE) contribute to aberrant rewiring of hippocampus and are hypothesized to promote epileptogenesis. Although physical training (PT) was reported to cause further increase in neurogenesis after SE, how PT affect their integration pattern is still elusive, whether they integrate into normal circuits or increase aberrant integrations is yet to be determined. To understand this basic mechanism by which PT effects SE and to elaborate the possible role of neuronal integrations in prognosis of SE, we evaluated the effect of 4 weeks of treadmill PT in adult male mice after pilocarpine-induced SE on behavioral and aberrant integrations' parameters. Changes in BDNF gene methylation and its protein level in hippocampus was also measured at latent stage (2-weeks) to explore underlying pathways involved in increasing neurogenesis. Our results demonstrated that although PT increased proliferation and maturation of neurons in dentate gyrus, they showed reduced aberrant integrations into hippocampal circuitry assessed through a decrease in the number of ectopic granular cells, hilar basal dendrites and mossy fiber sprouting as compared to non-exercised SE mice. While SE decreased the percentage methylation of specific CpGs of BDNF gene's promoter, PT did not yield any significant difference in methylation of BDNF CpGs as compared to non-exercised SE mice. In conclusion, PT increases hippocampal neurogenesis through increasing BDNF levels by some pathways other than demethylating BDNF CpGs and causes post SE newly-born neurons to integrate into normal circuits thus resulting in decreased spontaneous recurrent seizures and enhanced spatial memory.
Publication
Journal: Psychoneuroendocrinology
August/31/2019
Abstract
Women are at least twice as susceptible to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to men. Although most research seeking to explain this discrepancy has focussed on the role of oestradiol during fear extinction learning, the role of progesterone has been overlooked, despite relatively consistent findings being reported concerning the role of progesterone during consolidation of emotional and intrusive memories. In this review article, we outline literature supporting the role of progesterone on memory formation, with particular emphasis on potential memory-enhancing properties of progesterone when subjects are placed under stress. It is possible that progesterone directly and indirectly exerts memory-enhancing effects at the time of trauma, which is an effect that may not be necessarily captured during non-stressful paradigms. We propose a model whereby progesterone's steroidogenic relationship to cortisol and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in combination with elevated oestradiol may enhance emotional memory consolidation during trauma and therefore present a specific vulnerability to PTSD formation in women, particularly during the mid-luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Publication
Journal: Medicine
July/26/2019
Abstract
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is a transitional stage between normal aging and Alzheimer disease (AD), and is associated with an increased risk of AD. Many studies have shown that apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 (APOE ε4) genotype is a major genetic predictor of AD progression, especially in patients with aMCI. However, the application of APOE genotyping in the diagnosis of MCI progressing to AD is limited by its low sensitivity and specificity, which often leads to high false-positive rate. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and hippocampal volume as predictors of aMCI to AD transition in APOE ε4 genotype patients.A total of 178 subjects were diagnosed with aMCI. The patients with aMCI that progressed to AD within 2 years were included in the MCI-AD group (n = 86), those maintaining an aMCI diagnosis after 2 years were placed in the MCI-MCI group (n = 92), and neurologically healthy age-matched individuals were set as controls (n = 90). APOE genotypes were determined. Blood samples from all subjects were drawn at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months for serum BNDF assessments. Hippocampal delineations were monitored by magnetic resonance imaging.Compared to control group, aMCI-AD patients (the patients with aMCI that progressed to AD within 2 years) exhibited worse performance on cognitive and neuropsychological batteries. Meanwhile, we found that aMCI-AD patients were associated with abnormally low serum BDNF level and greater hippocampal volume loss than MCI-MCI patients (patients maintaining an aMCI diagnosis after 2 years). Moreover, patients with aMCI who were carriers of APOE ε4 showed a notable decrease in serum BDNF and a significant reduction in hippocampal volume, especially in those who progressed to AD.The present study demonstrates that aMCI that evolves into AD in patients with the APOE ε4 genotype may be predicted by hippocampal volume and serum BDNF.
Publication
Journal: Experimental cell research
July/19/2019
Abstract
Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) deficiency in Schwann cells plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). Little is known about the mechanism involved in BDNF downregulation in Schwann cells in DPN. In this study, we first confirmed downregulation of BDNF and neurotrophin 3 expression in the sciatic nerves of diabetic mice, which was accompanied by myelin sheath abnormalities. Moreover, in vitro, high glucose was revealed to cause downregulation of BDNF, but not neurotrophin 3, expression in RSC96 cells, which was accompanied by DNA hypermethylation of BDNF promoters I and II. DNMT1 was subsequently revealed to be enhanced at the mRNA and protein levels in high glucose-stimulated RSC96 cells, and inhibition of DNMT1 with 5-Aza treatment or shRNA vector transfection reversed high glucose-induced reductions in BDNF expression. Furthermore, the mTOR and upstream Akt pathways were indicated to mediate high glucose-induced DNMT1 and BDNF expression in RSC96 cells. Taken together, our results suggest that the Akt/mTOR cascade mediates high glucose-induced reductions in BDNF via DNMT1 in Schwann cells in DPN.
Publication
Journal: Hearing research
July/13/2019
Abstract
This Review outlines the development of DNA-based therapeutics for treatment of hearing loss, and in particular, considers the potential to utilize the properties of recombinant neurotrophins to improve cochlear auditory (spiral ganglion) neuron survival and repair. This potential to reduce spiral ganglion neuron death and indeed re-grow the auditory nerve fibres has been the subject of considerable pre-clinical evaluation over decades with the view of improving the neural interface with cochlear implants. This provides the context for discussion about the development of a novel means of using cochlear implant electrode arrays for gene electrotransfer. Mesenchymal cells which line the cochlear perilymphatic compartment can be selectively transfected with (naked) plasmid DNA using array - based gene electrotransfer, termed 'close-field electroporation'. This technology is able to drive expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the deafened guinea pig model, causing re-growth of the spiral ganglion peripheral neurites towards the mesenchymla cells, and hence into close proximity with cochlear implant electrodes within scala tympani. This was associated with functional enhancement of the cochlear implant neural interface (lower neural recruitment thresholds and expanded dynamic range, measured using electrically - evoked auditory brainstem responses). The basis for the efficiency of close-field electroporation arises from the compression of the electric field in proximity to the ganged cochlear implant electrodes. The regions close to the array with highest field strength corresponded closely to the distribution of bioreporter cells (adherent human embryonic kidney (HEK293)) expressing green fluorescent reporter protein (GFP) following gene electrotransfer. The optimization of the gene electrotransfer parameters using this cell-based model correlated closely with in vitro and in vivo cochlear gene delivery outcomes. The migration of the cochlear implant electrode array-based gene electrotransfer platform towards a clinical trial for neurotrophin-based enhancement of cochlear implants is supported by availability of a novel regulatory compliant mini-plasmid DNA backbone (pFAR4; plasmid Free of Antibiotic Resistance v.4) which could be used to package a 'humanized' neurotrophin expression cassette. A reporter cassette packaged into pFAR4 produced prominent GFP expression in the guinea pig basal turn perilymphatic scalae. More broadly, close-field gene electrotransfer may lend itself to a spectrum of potential DNA therapeutics applications benefitting from titratable, localised, delivery of naked DNA, for gene augmentation, targeted gene regulation, or gene substitution strategies.
Publication
Journal: Neuropharmacology
June/23/2019
Abstract
Binge drinking during adolescence increases the risk for neuropsychiatric disorders including alcoholism in adulthood. DNA methylation in post-mitotic neurons is an important epigenetic modification that plays a crucial role in neurodevelopment. We examined the effects of intermittent ethanol exposure during adolescence on adult behavior and whether DNA methylation changes provide a plausible explanation for the lasting effects of this developmental insult. One hour after last adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE), growth arrest and DNA damage inducible protein 45 (Gadd45a, Gadd45b, and Gadd45g) mRNA expression was increased and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity and Dnmt3b expression was decreased in the amygdala as compared to adolescent intermittent saline (AIS) rats. However, AIE rats 24 h after last exposure displayed increased DNMT activity but normalized Gadd45 and Dnmt3b mRNA expression compared to AIS rats. In adulthood, rats exposed to AIE show increased Dnmt3b mRNA expression and DNMT activity, along with decreased Gadd45g mRNA expression in the amygdala. DNA methylation of neuropeptide Y (Npy) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) exon IV is increased in the AIE adult amygdala compared to AIS adult rats. Treatment with the DNMT inhibitor 5-azacytidine (5-azaC) at adulthood normalizes the AIE-induced DNA hypermethylation of Npy and Bdnf exon IV with concomitant reversal of AIE-induced anxiety-like and alcohol-drinking behaviors. These results suggest that binge-like ethanol exposure during adolescence leads to dysregulation in DNA methylation mechanisms in the amygdala which may contribute to behavioral phenotypes of anxiety and alcohol use in adulthood.
Publication
Journal: Brain sciences
May/18/2019
Abstract
Emerging research demonstrates that exercise, including both acute and chronic exercise, may influence episodic memory function. To date, mechanistic explanations of this effect are often attributed to alterations in long-term potentiation, neurotrophic production, angiogenesis, and neurogenesis. Herein, we discuss a complementary mechanistic model, suggesting that the endocannabinoid system may, in part, influence the effects of exercise on memory function. We discuss the role of the endocannabinoid system on memory function as well as the effects of exercise on endocannabinoid alterations. This is an exciting line of inquiry that should help delineate new insights into the mechanistic role of exercise on memory function.
Publication
Journal: Cytotherapy
May/11/2019
Abstract
The pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with an increased inflammatory response via activated microglia and astrocytes. In the present study, we investigated whether treatment with the anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) monoclonal antibody adalimumab can improve cognitive function and reduce AD pathology in Aβ1-40-injected animal models of AD, as well as the mechanisms underlying the effects of treatment. Aβ1-40-injected mice treated with adalimumab exhibited significant improvements in memory relative to mice injected with Aβ1-40 alone, as well as decreases in beta secretase-1 (BACE1) protein expression and Aβ1-40 plaques. In addition, adalimumab treatment significantly attenuated neuronal damage and neuroinflammation in Aβ1-40-injected mice. Aβ1-40-induced decreases in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression were also attenuated by treatment with adalimumab. Our experiments further verified that the effects of adalimumab are mediated by nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) p65 signalling. Serine 536 residues of NF-κB p65, which is phosphorylated by TNF-α, increased along with the degradation of inhibitor of κB (IκB) in the hippocampus of Aβ-injected mice, although these effects were again attenuated by adalimumab. Furthermore, Aβ1-40-induced increases in TNF-α and interleukin (IL)-6 expression were decreased by treatment with adalimumab. Our results indicate that adalimumab may be clinically useful in human patients with AD.
Publication
Journal: Journal of psychiatric research
April/20/2019
Abstract
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a clinically heterogeneous neuropsychiatric condition associated with profound disability, whose susceptibility, stemming from genetic and environmental factors that intersect with each other, is still under investigation. In this perspective, we sought to explore the transcriptional regulation of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a promising candidate biomarker in both development and etiology of different neuropsychiatric conditions, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from OCD patients and healthy controls. In particular, we focused on BDNF gene expression and interrogated in depth DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation at gene promoters (exons I, IV and IX) in a sample of OCD patients attending a tertiary OCD Clinic to receive guidelines-recommended treatment, and matched controls. Our preliminary data showed a significant increase in BDNF gene expression and a significant correlation with changes in the two epigenetic modifications selectively at promoter exon I, with no changes in the other promoters under study. We can conclude that transcriptional regulation of BDNF in OCD engages epigenetic mechanisms, and can suggest that this is likely evoked by the long-term pharmacotherapy. It is important to underline that many different factors need to be taken into account (i.e. age, sex, duration of illness, treatment), and thus further studies are mandatory to investigate their role in the epigenetic regulation of BDNF gene. Of note, we provide unprecedented evidence for the importance of analyzing 5-hydroxymethylcytosine levels to correctly evaluate 5-methylcytosine changes.
Publication
Journal: Hormones and behavior
March/28/2019
Abstract
Chronic exposure to stress during adolescent period has been demonstrated to impair cognitive functions and the dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons in the rat hippocampal CA3 area. The present study investigated the combined protective effects of Spirulina platensis (SP), a supplement made from blue-green algae with neuroprotective properties, voluntary exercise (EX) and environmental enrichment (EE) against cognitive deficits, alternations in hippocampal BDNF levels, and abnormal neuronal remodeling in adult female rats (PND 60) induced by exposure to chronic restraint stress during adolescent period (PND 30-40). Rats were exposed to restraint stress (2 h/day for 10 days, PND 30-40). Then, the animals were subjected to treatment with SP (200 mg/kg/day), EX, EE and the combined treatments (SP + EX, and SP + EE) between PND 41 and 55 of age. Following the interventions, spatial learning and memory, passive avoidance performance, hippocampal dendritic morphology and BDNF levels were assessed. Results showed that plasma corticosterone levels increased at PND 40 and remained elevated at PND 55 and 70 in the stressed rats. Stressed rats showed deficits in spatial learning and memory and passive avoidance performance, decreased BDNF levels in the hippocampus, and reduced apical dendritic length and branch points of the CA3 pyramidal neurons. These deficits were alleviated by the SP, EX and EE, and the combined treatments, which accompanied with a decline in serum corticosterone in stressed animals. Some treatments even enhanced cognitive functions, and BDNF levels and neuroanatomical remodeling in the hippocampus of non-stressed animals. Our findings provide important evidences that physical activity, exposure to EE, and the SP treatment during adolescent period can protect against adolescent stress induced behavioral, biochemical and neuroanatomical impairments in adulthood.
Publication
Journal: Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
March/21/2019
Abstract
To investigate whether the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met genotype is associated with the rate of progression of open-angle glaucoma (OAG).In this retrospective cohort study, 148 OAG patients (292 eyes) were enrolled with a median follow-up period of 5.3 (range, 1.1-8.6) years. All participants had undergone regular clinical examinations by using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) scans and Humphrey (SITA) visual field tests. BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms were genotyped in all participants. Longitudinal visual field and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) changes were compared between Met carriers (n = 68, 135 eyes) and Val homozygotes (n = 80, 157 eyes) by using the generalized estimating equations (GEE) model and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.There was no significant difference in mean rates of progression for the two genotypes. However, there was a significant association between the Val66Met genotypes and slower OAG progression, as suggested by a higher rate of global RNFL loss in Val/Val homozygotes (P = 0.008) in the long-term survival analysis. The effect demonstrated a degree of sex specificity, with the significant difference present only in females (P = 0.016) but not males. Similar sexual dimorphism was presented in superior (P = 0.005 in females, P = 0.38 in males) and inferior (P = 0.004 in females, P = 0.41 in males) RNFL loss. No significant difference was observed in visual field parameters.Our results suggested that carriage of Met allele reduces the rate of long-term OAG progression. However, the fact that this effect is observed only in females indicates BDNF Val66Met influences the progression rate of OAG in a sex-specific manner.
Publication
Journal: Neurotoxicity research
March/19/2019
Abstract
Toluene is a widely used industrial organic solvent and is ubiquitous in our environment. The neurobehavioral and neurotoxic effects of toluene are well recognized; however, its genotoxicity is still under discussion. Toluene biotransformation leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress and DNA damages. Individuals with different immunogenetic backgrounds have different sensitivities to toxic chemical exposure. Previous studies have suggested that allergic stimulation may influence the threshold for toluene sensitivity due to the modulation of neurotrophin-related genes. Therefore, we aimed to investigate toluene-induced genotoxicity in different brain regions following acute and chronic exposure in vivo and to further examine whether allergic stimulation may influence the sensitivity to toluene-induced genotoxicity. In this present study, we found that exposure of toluene induced oxidative DNA damages resulting in genotoxicity in different brain regions including cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus using comet assay. Higher genotoxicity induced by toluene was observed in the hippocampus of control mice compared to OVA-immunized mice. These results provide evidence that toluene-induced genotoxicity may contribute to its neurotoxicity in different immunogenetic individuals.
Publication
Journal: Developmental medicine and child neurology
February/11/2019
Abstract
The developing brain in utero and during the first years of life is highly vulnerable to environmental influences. Experiences occurring during this period permanently modify brain structure and function through epigenetic modifications (alterations of the DNA structure and chromatin function) and consequently affect the susceptibility to mental disorders. In this review, we describe evidence linking adverse environmental variation during early life (from the fetal period to childhood) and long-term changes in brain volume, microstructure, and connectivity, especially in amygdala and hippocampal regions. We also describe genetic variations that moderate the impact of adverse environmental conditions on child neurodevelopment, such as polymorphisms in brain-derived neurotrophic factor and catechol-O-methyltransferase genes, as well as genetic pathways related to glutamate and monoaminergic signaling. Lastly, we have depicted positive early life experiences that could benefit childhood neurodevelopment and reverse some detrimental effects of adversity in the offspring. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Prenatal, peripartum, and postnatal adversities influence child behavior and neurodevelopment. Exposure to environmental enrichment and positive influences may revert these effects. Putative mechanisms involve alterations in neurotrophic factors and neurotransmitter systems. New tools/big data improved the understanding on how early adversity alters neurodevelopment. This permits better translation/application of the findings from animal models to humans.
Publication
Journal: Journal of the Endocrine Society
January/9/2019
Abstract
Prenatal treatment with dexamethasone (DEX) reduces virilization in girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). It has potential short- and long-term risks and has been shown to affect cognitive functions. Here, we investigate whether epigenetic modification of DNA during early developmental stages may be a key mediating mechanism by which prenatal DEX treatment could result in poor outcomes in the offspring. We analyzed genome-wide CD4+ T cell DNA methylation, assessed using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array in 29 individuals (mean age = 16.4 ± 5.9 years) at risk for CAH and treated with DEX during the first trimester and 37 population controls (mean age = 17.0 years, SD = 6.1 years). We identified 9672 differentially methylated probes (DMPs) associated with DEX treatment and 7393 DMPs associated with a DEX × sex interaction. DMPs were enriched in intergenic regions located near epigenetic markers for active enhancers. Functional enrichment of DMPs was mostly associated with immune functioning and inflammation but also with nonimmune-related functions. DEX-associated DMPs enriched near single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with inflammatory bowel disease, and DEX × sex-associated DMPs enriched near SNPs associated with asthma. DMPs in genes involved in the regulation and maintenance of methylation and steroidogenesis were identified as well. Methylation in the BDNF, FKBP5, and NR3C1 genes were associated with the performance on several Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition subscales. In conclusion, this study indicates that DNA methylation is altered after prenatal DEX treatment. This finding may have implications for the future health of the exposed individual.
Publication
Journal: Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM
January/1/2019
Abstract
This work provides the first demonstration that Spirulina maxima extract fermented with the lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus planetarium HY-08 has the ability to ameliorate scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice. The fermented extract exhibited good cognitive-enhancing activities, as demonstrated through Morris water maze and passive avoidance experiments: in these tests, the mice administered the fermented extract at a dose of 400 mg/kg exhibited an escape latency time and a latency time of 88.5 and 76.0 sec, respectively, whereas those administered donepezil, which was used as a positive control, showed an escape latency time and a latency time of 81.3 and 83.3 sec, respectively. However, an extract of 200 mg/kg was considered economically feasible for maintaining relatively high memory-improving activities because only a slight difference in activities was found between 200 and 400 mg/kg. The study also provides the first demonstration that β-carotene, one of the major bioactive substances in S. maxima, has memory-enhancing activity. A detailed analysis of the mechanism for the cognitive-enhancing activities of the fermented extract revealed that the fermented extract effectively increased the phosphorylation of both extracellular signal-regulated kinases (p-ERK) and p-cAMP response element-binding protein (p-CREB) and sequentially upregulated the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), whose signaling pathway responds to a reduction in oxidative stress in the brain. The results indicate that the improved efficacy of the fermented extract was likely due to the synergistic effects of β-carotene and other bioactive substances. Therefore, it can be concluded that the fermented extract exerts memory-improving effects in the hippocampus of scopolamine-treated mice through an initial increase in ERK signaling and a sequential induction of the expression of p-CREB and BDNF, and these effects are related to the antioxidant activities of β-carotene and other components.
Publication
Journal: Frontiers in molecular neuroscience
December/19/2018
Abstract
Mice subjected to prenatal restraint stress (PRS mice) showed biochemical and behavioral abnormalities consistent with a schizophrenia-like phenotype (Matrisciano et al., 2016). PRS mice are characterized by increased DNA-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and ten-eleven methylcytosine dioxygenase 1 (TET1) expression levels and exhibit an enrichment of 5-methylcytosine (5MC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5HMC) at neocortical GABAergic and glutamatergic gene promoters. Activation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu2 and-3 receptors) showed a potential epigenetically-induced antipsychotic activity by reversing the molecular and behavioral changes observed in PRS mice. This effect was most likely caused by the increase in the expression of growth arrest and DNA damage 45-β (Gadd45-β) protein, a molecular player of DNA demethylation, induced by the activation of mGlu2/3 receptors. This effect was mimicked by clozapine and valproate but not by haloperidol. Treatment with the selective mGlu2/3 receptors agonist LY379268 also increased the amount of Gadd45-β bound to specific promoter regions of reelin, BDNF, and GAD67. A meta-analysis of several clinical trials showed that treatment with an orthosteric mGlu2/3 receptor agonist improved both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, but only in patients who were early-in-disease and had not been treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs (Kinon et al., 2015). Our findings show that PRS mice are valuable model for the study of epigenetic mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and support the hypothesis that pharmacological modulation of mGlu2/3 receptors could impact the early phase of schizophrenia and related neurodevelopmental disorders by regulating epigenetic processes that lie at the core of the disorders.
Publication
Journal: Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology
December/4/2018
Abstract
The endogenous neurotrophic peptides pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptides (PACAP-27/38) protect against stroke, but the molecular mechanism remains unknown.Primary rat neural cells were exposed to PACAP-27 or PACAP-38 before induction of experimental acute ischemic stroke via oxygen-glucose deprivation-reperfusion (OGD/R) injury. To reveal PACAP's role in neuroprotection, we employed fluorescent live/dead cell viability and caspase 3 assays, optical densitometry of mitochondrial dehydrogenase and cell growth, glutathione disulfide luciferase activity, ELISA for high mobility group box1 extracellular concentration, ATP bioluminescence, Western blot analysis of PACAP, NMDA subunits, apoptosis regulator Bcl-2, social interaction hormone oxytocin, and trophic factor BDNF, and immunocytochemical analysis of PACAP.Both PACAP-27 and PACAP-38 (PACAP-27/38) increased cell viability, decreased oxidative stress-induced cell damage, maintained mitochondrial activity, prevented the release of high mobility group box1, and reduced cytochrome c/caspase 3-induced apoptosis. PACAP-27/38 increased the protein expression levels of BDNF, Bcl-2, oxytocin, and precursor PACAP. N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-induced excitotoxicity contributes to the cell death associated with stroke. PACAP-27/38 modulated the protein expression levels of NMDAR subunits. PACAP-27/38 increased the protein expression levels of the GluN1 subunit, and decreased that of the GluN2B and GluN2D subunits. PACAP-27, but not PACAP-38, increased the expression level of the GluN2C subunit.This study provides evidence that PACAP regulated NMDAR subunits, affording neuroprotection after OGD/R injury.
Publication
Journal: Lupus
October/29/2018
Abstract
BACKGROUND
The aim of this study was to investigate serum S100B and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) patients, with and without neuropsychiatric (NP) manifestation activity.
METHODS
We assessed 47 SLE patients and 20 selected healthy individuals. Disease activity was assessed according to the SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI). Serum BDNF and S100B were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS
Serum S100B protein was significantly higher in SLE patients. BDNF levels were significantly decreased in active SLE, when compared with inactive SLE, but not when compared with controls. S100B was clearly higher in the NPSLE group, when compared with the non-NPSLE or control groups. Receiver operating characteristic analysis of S100B revealed an area under the curve of 0.706 that discriminated NPSLE patients with peripheral polyneuropathy.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings reinforce the use of serum S100B as a biomarker in SLE, particularly for NPSLE. Moreover, we found a strong association between serum S100B and peripheral neuropathy, indicating a specific utility for this biomarker in SLE that warrants clinical investigation.
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Publication
Journal: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
February/21/2018
Abstract
Postembryonic brain development is sensitive to environmental input and sensory experience, but the mechanisms underlying healthy adaptive brain growth are poorly understood. Here, we tested the importance of visual experience on larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) postembryonic development of the optic tectum (OT), a midbrain structure involved in visually guided behavior. We first characterized postembryonic neurogenic growth in OT, in which new neurons are generated along the caudal tectal surface and contribute appositionally to anatomical growth. Restricting visual experience during development by rearing larvae in dim light impaired OT anatomical and neurogenic growth, specifically by reducing the survival of new neurons in the medial periventricular gray zone. Neuronal survival in the OT was reduced only when visual experience was restricted for the first 5 d following new neuron generation, suggesting that tectal neurons exhibit an early sensitive period in which visual experience protects these cells from subsequent neuronal loss. The effect of dim rearing on neuronal survival was mimicked by treatment with an NMDA receptor antagonist early, but not later, in a new neuron's life. Both dim rearing and antagonist treatment reduced BDNF production in the OT, and supplementing larvae with exogenous BDNF during dim rearing prevented neuronal loss, suggesting that visual experience protects new tectal neurons through neural activity-dependent BDNF expression. Collectively, we present evidence for a sensitive period of neurogenic adaptive growth in the larval zebrafish OT that relies on visual experience-dependent mechanisms.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Early brain development is shaped by environmental factors via sensory input; however, this form of experience-dependent neuroplasticity is traditionally studied as structural and functional changes within preexisting neurons. Here, we found that restricting visual experience affects development of the larval zebrafish optic tectum, a midbrain structure involved in visually guided behavior, by limiting the survival of newly generated neurons. We found that new tectal neurons exhibit a sensitive period soon after cell birth in which adequate visual experience, likely mediated by neuronal activity driving BDNF production within the tectum, would protect them from subsequent neuronal loss over the following week. Collectively, we present evidence for neurogenic adaptive tectal growth under different environmental lighting conditions.
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Publication
Journal: Human brain mapping
November/10/2017
Abstract
In major depressive disorder (MDD), the need to study multiple-gene effect on brain structure is emerging. Our aim was to assess the effect of accumulation of specific SERT, BDNF and COMT gene functional polymorphisms on brain structure in MDD patients. Seventy-seven MDD patients and 66 controls underwent a clinical assessment, genetic testing and MRI scan. Compared with controls, patients were more BDNF-Val homozygotes, COMT-Met carriers and SERT-L' carriers. Thus, subjects were split into three groups: 1. High-frequency susceptibility polymorphism group (hfSP, subjects with all three SPs); 2. Intermediate-frequency SP group (ifSP, two SPs); and 3. Low-frequency SP group (lfSP, one/none SP). Cortical thickness, volumetry of hippocampus, amygdala and subcortical structures, and white matter (WM) tract integrity were assessed. Compared to controls, hfSP patients showed thinning of the middle frontal cortex bilaterally, left frontal pole, and right lateral occipital cortex, and smaller hippocampal volume bilaterally; and both hfSP and lfSP patient groups showed thinning of the left inferior parietal cortex and reduced WM integrity of the corpus callosum. Compared to patients, hfSP controls showed greater integrity of the fronto-occipital cortices and corpus callosum. We showed that cortical prefrontal and occipital damage of MDD patients is modulated by the SP accumulation, while damage to the parietal cortex and corpus callosum seem to be independent of genetic accumulation. HfSP controls may experience protective mechanisms leading to a preserved integrity of critical cortical and WM regions. Investigating the effect of multiple genes is promising to understand the pathological mechanisms underlying MDD. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2173-2184, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Publication
Journal: The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology
September/23/2017
Abstract
Prion is a unique nucleic acid-free pathogen that causes human and animal fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a prototypic neurotrophin that helps to support the survival of existing neurons, and encourage the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses through axonal and dendritic sprouting. There are two distinct classes of glycosylated receptors, neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR) and tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk), that can bind to BDNF. To obtain insights into the possible alterations of brain BDNF and its signaling pathway in prion disease, the levels of BDNF and several molecules in the BDNF pathway in the brain tissues of scrapie agents 263K-infected hamsters were separately evaluated. Western blots and/or immunohistochemical (IHC) assays revealed that BDNF, TrkB, GRB2 and p75NTR, were significantly downregulated in the brain tissues of scrapie-infected rodents at terminal stage. Double-stained immunofluorescent assay (IFA) demonstrated that BDNF and phospho-TrkB predominately expressed in neurons. Dynamic analyses of the brain samples collected at the different time-points during the incubation period illustrated continuous decreases of BDNF, TrkB, phospho-TrkB, GRB2 and p75NTR, which correlated well with neuron loss. However, these proteins remained almost unchanged in the prion infected cell line SMB-S15 compared with those of its normal cell line SMB-PS. These data suggest that the BDNF signaling pathway is severely hindered in the brains of prion disease, which may contribute, at least partially, to the neuron death.
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